Cancer treatment can cause a lot of difficult side effects. One thing that can happen is your aging relative may lose their appetite. The smell and taste of food can change for them, too. They may also experience nausea and vomiting. Throat and mouth problems can make eating even harder. Though eating may be difficult, it’s still important that the older adult gets enough nutrition.
Using the following tips can help to improve nutrition during cancer treatment.
Talk to the Doctor
Before you do anything else, it’s a good idea to talk to the doctor about the problems the senior is having. Waiting too long could lead to weakness, excessive weight loss, and dehydration. The doctor may be able to prescribe medication that can improve appetite and control nausea.
Offer Lots of Liquids
Dehydration can be very dangerous. Signs of dehydration are dark urine, dizziness, and weakness. Keep a bottle of water near the older adult at all times and encourage them to drink now and then. Try offering drinks that also provide some nutrition, too, such as juice or smoothies. However, limit the amount of liquid the person has with meals since it can fill their stomachs and prevent them from eating enough food.
Eat When Hungry
While you may be used to scheduling the day around mealtimes, when an older adult is being treated for cancer, it could be time to throw that schedule out the window. Instead, allow them to decide when they eat. Offer food any time they are feeling hungry. Several small meals throughout the day may be a better way of getting enough nutrition than three larger meals.
Physical activity can help to spur appetite. It can also help keep the body strong. Encourage your loved one to get up and move around as often as possible. Take a short walk, dance them around the living room, or play an active video game.
Make Eating Pleasant
Try making eating more enjoyable by doing it in pleasant surroundings. Set the table and play some quiet music. Put a vase of flowers on the table. Sit with the senior to keep them company while they eat. If they need to stay in bed, try setting up a dinner tray with flowers, a pretty placemat, and nice dinnerware.
Ask Home Care for Help
Home care can help seniors undergoing cancer treatment to eat and drink more. Home care providers can refill a water bottle throughout the day, keeping it fresh and cold. Home care providers can also prepare meals and snacks throughout the day. They can even sit with the older adult while they eat to keep them company.
If you or a loved one are considering Home Care Services near New Holland PA, contact the caring staff at Extended Family Care of Lancaster. Call today at (717) 205-2174.
A long-time resident of Lancaster County, Mary Lynne enjoys spending time with her husband Terry, and their 3 horses and collies. The countless hours of caring for her client and employee-based “family” at work and at home can truly depict the selfless character of Mary Lynne Heller. Mary Lynne is a Google Verified Author
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